I Will Miss You When You Are Gone
My friend who cut herself was swallowed up by the Atlantic on the day I was to be married.
Before that, she told me, “There’s a whole world beyond this shore. This isn’t all there is. I could start over. We could all start over.”
“There is no new start. You only get one. If you swim away, something will follow you.”
“I will keep swimming until I lose it.”
“It will have as much endurance as you do. If you live, it is with you.”
“I need to get away! To escape this guilt and these people and these expectations and maybe have my life to myself again, not bound up in this sick cycle of impossible love then suffering then steel then lies then wrenching love again. I want off this roller coaster, and the only way to do it is to swim away, and never look back.”
“I’d miss you, you know.”
Tears were in her raw red eyes as the surf gurgled salty around her thighs, making her dress wet and heavy. She ripped it off and stood in front of me in a pale tan bra and blue panties, heaving and shivering in the November ocean. Her freckled white skin looked sickly in the gray, clouded light.
She disappeared beneath the brown-blue waters, and I watched the stormy surface for her head to come up. It never did.